Album of the Week: Fredfades & Jawn Rice – Jacuzzi Boyz

The Mutual Intentions crew are back, and they’ve brought a little summer to Oslo this winter. Whether they are evoking the sounds of golden era Hip Hop; making Deep House for dusty fingers; or simply playing rare disco and boogie 7 inches from the booth, it’s hard to pin down the Mutual Intentions sound to anything other than a feeling or a mood. On the latest offering, Frefades and Jawn Rice have conjured a specific feeling again, and it hits you like a cooling “summer breeze” on a muggy July evening.

Fredfades and Jawn Rice have combined forces on Jacuzzi Boyz, the latest record from the Mutual Intentions camp and released via their own label. After the lush humidity of Fredfades’ “Warmth” and Jawn Rice’s tempered House on “Highlights”, the pair find a captivating middle ground on Jacuzzi Boyz. Combining Fredfades’ 90’s era sampling techniques with Jawn Rice’s rich House arrangements, Jacuzzi Boyz is a record that emphasises each producer’s strengths in a mutualistic symbioses.

“It isn’t Easy” hit the ground running for the latent LP, as one of the most exciting tracks to come out of Norway last year. Combining deep sonorous chords with funk-induced bass lines and jacking beats, Fred and Jawn have cultivated a sound that speaks to a more versatile era of House music. When they especially turn up the funk on tracks like “Bright Tomorrow” and “Mutual Love” through snappy synthesisers the entire record starts to burble with energy as it makes a beeline for the dance floor.

As ever, and something that’s very persistent in all Mutual Intentions endeavours, is that sense of nostalgia where you’re lost in some intangible memory that floats between surreal reverie and reality. Fredfades and Jawn Rice transport you to an exotic world on the fringes of the familiar where Rhodes keys eddy between languid progressions across nine tracks. Guest appearances from established artists like Tom Noble and Lucid Paradise offer some dynamic variation across the record, while maintaining that signature sound, the duo has cultivated on this record.

It might be the first time Jawn Rice and Fredfades have worked together on a record this closely, but the collaboration shows an instinctive creative partnership that is more than just the sum of their individual parts. They’ve clearly been simmering in this sound together for some time, refining their strengths together on a record that will live beyond its own declinations and certainly win over a few more fans to the Mutual Intention scamp. Jacuzzi Boyz strikes a particular chord with the listener, one that lingers on a mood long after the record runs itself out.